Royal Caribbean's Magnum Opus, Oasis of the Seas, has now been fully revealed to the public. This next "world's largest cruise ship" set to debut in November 2009, will be the most revolutionary cruise ship ever built. However, as with many things in society today, the ship seems to have a stigma of uncertainty and doubt.
Here is what we are hearing, "it's too big, you will never get me on a ship with 5400 other people." But here is the reality; this ship is superbly designed with attractions well distributed from decks four to 18. With show rooms, activities and diversions everywhere, yes, there will be 5400 passengers, but dispersing them over 222,000-tons makes it far less crowded than other megaships packing as many as 3800 passengers into just about 110,000-tons.
I predict you will see less crowding on these ships than you see on the average Carnival or older Royal Caribbean ships. There are three major entertainment venues working each night; the Opal Theater, the AquaTheater and Studio B (the ice rink). Each holds about 1/3 of the ship's capacity.
While most ships typically have just two decks of public gathering spaces, Oasis has four completely different but all equally enjoyable public areas where people can spend hour upon hour. There is Central park with trees and grass, restaurants, quiets bars, restaurants and shops. Next is the Boardwalk with the AquaTheater, carousal, fun restaurants like Johnny Rockets and the Seafood Shack, an ice cream parlor, a candy store and donut shop, and more.
The Sports Zone features the first zipline at sea eight decks high, two FlowRider surf machines, rock climbing walls, a beach pool, miniature golf, inline skating, ice skating, a full waterpark with waterslides, youth facilities for every age and a solarium with swimming pools, hot tubs and more.
The Royal Promenade is almost twice as large as the Voyager-class ships and offers live music clubs, wine tasting, a champagne bar, extensive shopping, haircuts, coffee bars, live shows and the Rising Tide Bar which rises and falls between the Royal Promenade and Central Park.
One deck down is "Entertainment Central" with a live jazz club, a live standup comedy club, the ice skating showroom with great shows, the largest casino at sea, and a nightclub called "Blaze" which will be the late-night hot spot for dancing and socializing.
There are so many attractions on Oasis - things you have never seen on a cruise ship before, that this ship will expand the definition of cruising to ships with literally no reason to ever get off. Smaller, destination-oriented ships will still exist for people who want to see the world. I love those kinds of ships, too. But when it comes to the concept of the ship being the destination - you can do no better than Oasis of the Seas. I cannot wait for November, 2009.